Copperheads are venomous snakes belonging to the subfamily of venomous snakes, known as pit vipers. Copperheads are considered medium sized snakes averaging from 24-36 inches when fully grown. Males are usually longer then females and can grow to over 43 inches in length. Copperheads are pinkish tan colored with distinct brown markings along their backs shaped like a bowtie, though newborns are usually paler. Copperheads are commonly found in open forests, on rocky hillsides, near or in abandoned building in rural areas, in discarded woodpiles, and almost always near creeks, rivers, and swamps. The Copperhead's diet consists of small lizards, frogs, cicadas, and small mice. Copperheads are known as sit & wait predators because they wait for their prey instead of chasing it.
There are many myths about Copperheads, but as many myths go, not all are true. One myth is that Copperheads smell like cucumbers and this will warn you if you are near one. This is both true and misleading. Yes, Copperheads give off protective odor, but only when it has a reason. There is a myth that Black Snakes breed with Copperheads during floods. This is not true. There is no biological bases and this simply dose not happen. Black snakes have no interest in Copperheads. Another myth is that Copperheads always move in pairs, this is also not true. They are competing for food and shelter. If found together, it is because the habitat is ideal and can sustain more then one snake or may be an over wintering den. Yet another myth is that baby Copperheads are more dangerous then adults, this is not true. There is no biological reason for babies to have more potent venom the adults. They have smaller venom glands, tiny fangs, and are not capable of producing venom more potent then adult's venom.
There are also a number of other snakes commonly mistaken for a Copperhead. For example, the hatchling Black Rat snake has a narrow head, is about 10 inches long, and is gray with black markings.